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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 16:31 GMT
Fine for ride death 'not justice'
Gemma Savage
Miss Savage's family said the fines for safety breaches were 'derisory'
The family of a student who died on a rollercoaster ride at Lightwater Valley have said justice has still not been done for their daughter.

Gemma Savage, 20, from Wath-on-Dearne, died after two cars collided on a ride at the theme park near Ripon in 2001.

Reverchon Industries SA, the French manufacturers of the ride, was fined 120,000 for safety breaches on Friday.

Lightwater Valley Attractions was fined 35,000 and electrician Eric Butters fined 2,500 at Leeds Crown Court.

The theme park was also ordered to pay 40,000 costs. Lightwater Valley and Mr Butters pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches last month.

Reverchon, which made and supplied the ride, was also ordered to pay 55,000 costs.

The firm, which always failed to send any representatives to court, was convicted of health and safety breaches after a trial in their absence last week.

But outside court, Gemma's parents Linda and Stuart clutched a photograph of their daughter, and wept and they branded the fines "derisory".

Mrs Savage said: "This is not justice. Justice has not been done today for Gemma."

Flanked by her daughter Rachel, son Robert, and Miss Savage's boyfriend Joseph Shimmin, Mrs Savage said she could never forgive the organisations responsible for Gemma's death.

The Treetop Twister ride
The Treetop Twister had been open for about a month

She said: "We would like to have seen a fine which showed the seriousness of what happened to Gemma.

"To me it was derisory."

Mr Savage said simple actions could have saved his daughter.

He said: "It was a needless death. I can't put it into words what it means to us."

Miss Savage and her boyfriend Mr Shimmin were on the Treetop Twister ride when it stopped automatically because a car in front had failed to reach the top of a U-bend slope.

Electrician Mr Butters used the manual control panel but the emergency stop button had not been pressed and the couple's car was released.

The car accelerated down the U-bend and up to the other side, hitting the car in front, and then rolling backwards again.

They collided with the car behind them with "maximum impact speed" at the bottom of the U-bend.

Miss Savage, who suffered head and neck injuries in the crash, died the next day.


SEE ALSO
Firm guilty over park ride death
30 Nov 06 |  North Yorkshire
Faulty wiring led to ride death
27 Nov 06 |  North Yorkshire
Theme park guilty over ride death
14 Nov 06 |  North Yorkshire

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